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Indian auto sector witnesses sharpest decline in 19 years

Indian auto sector witnesses sharpest decline in 19 years

DPA
New Delhi
Car sales in India have clocked their sharpest decline in 19 years, an industry body reported on Tuesday.
Auto sales dropped by about 18.71 per cent in July compared to the same month the previous year, the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) reported.
Sales of passenger vehicles slumped by 30.98 per cent in July 2019 compared to the same month the previous year.
There has been a consistent decline in sales of vehicles across segments including passenger vehicles and two-wheelers. Total sales stood at 1,825,148 units in July against 2,245,223 units in the same month in 2018.
The crisis in the auto sector is critical for the economy as it accounts for about half of India’s manufacturing output.
A general economic slowdown is one of the top priorities for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government which began its second term in May.
“The data shows how urgent the need is for a revival package from the government. There is an urgent need for some kind of action,” SIAM director general Vishnu Mathur told reporters.
Mathur said the previous such crisis was seen in December 2000.
Mathur said at least 15,000 temporary workers in auto manufacturing companies had lost their jobs in the last two or three months.
Millions of more jobs were on the line in the many ancillary industries and with falling sales more than 300 dealerships had also closed down leading to more job losses, Mathur added.
Declining for the ninth consecutive month, domestic passenger vehicle (PV) sales dropped 30.98 per cent to 2,00,790 units in July, from 2,90,931 units in the same period a year ago.
Domestic car sales were down 35.95 per cent at 1,22,956 units as against 1,91,979 units in July 2018, according to data released by the Society of Indian Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) on Tuesday.
Motorcycle sales last month declined 18.88 per cent to 9,33,996 units for the month as against 11,51,324 units in the year-ago period. Total two-wheeler sales in July declined 16.82 per cent to 15,11,692 units compared to 18,17,406 units in the year-ago month.
Sales of commercial vehicles were down 25.71 per cent to 56,866 units in July as compared with 76,545 units in the year-ago period, SIAM said.
Vehicle sales across categories registered a decline of 18.71 per cent to 18,25,148 units from 22,45,223 units in July 2018, it added.
In fact, all vehicle categories witnessed decline in sales during the month.
Amid decelerating growth in the auto sector, the industry leaders had met with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to demand special packages to bounce back. They said the government has indicated that it was considering to provide required stimulus to the sector.
Last week, it was reported that Maruti Suzuki India, the country’s largest automaker, was downsizing the number of its temporary workers and had frozen hiring new employees until the downturn reversed. Reportedly, Maruti’s Manesar plant in Haryana has reduced the number of shifts, with a few assembly lines not operating.

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